So we have tried to be as romantic as possible.  Here are just a few ideas to get you going.

 

  1. Walk through San Marco, Venice at 0400 in the early morning and feel the stillness. It is best to do this in Spring or Summer just before sunrise.  Just you and the early morning slowly stirring.
  2.  Book a private tour to the Basilica of San Marco, not for the faint-hearted when it comes to budget but well worth it or take the early morning Vatican tour and get to experience the Sistine Chapel in its full glory just you, your partner and the guide.  There may be some other people there however not the crowds.  You will definitely be moved!

3. Go on a tour with our specialized guide who will take you behind the scenes of noble palaces and homes which will open just for you. Sshhhh it’s a secret.

4. Get yourself organized and pre-book tickets for the Accademia Gallery in Florence and get to see David in the “flesh” ……… for all you others who prefer the female form how about pre booking the Uffizi and checking out Botticelli’s “The birth of Venus”, you will be moved. Or a visit to the Capella San Severo in Naples where you get to touch the veiled Christ and if this does not move you to tears…..

5. Watch the sunset from the terraces of Ravello over a Mimosa cocktail or even better, a Rossini!  We have so many terraces available for you. Or head off the beaten track and find some amazing places where you just feel great!

6. Book a table for 2 at one of the many Michelin star properties throughout the country and fall in love with the food available to you. We have a list of great places just waiting for you.

7. Choose to drive a selection of Sports cars, everything is possible, from the Ferrari to Lamborghini to name but a few. We highly recommend that you choose to do this on the Amalfi Coast. The leather gloves, the foulard, the soft breeze in your hair, the dramatic scenery….just imagine parking the car and stepping out!

8. A romantic and private boat tour for 2 on Lake Como with your chilled bottle of Italian Sparkling wine.  Admire the lakeside villas which beckon you – Villa d’Este, Villa Erba, Villa Olmo, Villa Fontanelle, Villa Cassinella, the wonderful Villa Balbianello, Villa Carlotta……Or why not overwhelm your partner with a yacht, we have a range of possibilities.

9. Enjoy chocolate cuddles in Montecatini with an anti-age “Choco Energy” face treatment followed by a slimming-energizing “Choco Minceur” body treatment based on the properties of cocoa, chocolate, black pepper and honey.  If you fancy something a little more wine based… go for a purifying rebalancing wine treatment with a Chianti Sangiovese grape must  body scrub with massage followed by an ozone bath with wine nectar (Virgin Red Grape Juice), facial muscle toning massage and gel masks with Chardonnay Grapes from Lake Garda, strawberry juice and raspberry honey.

10. Enjoy wine tasting in the Roman cellars of an excellent restaurant in Piazza Erbe in the historical centre of Verona. With over 600 labels and a total of 7000 bottles managed and cared for by qualified and highly competent staff.  Or if you fancy something a little more intimate try a candle-lit dinner for 2 in their cellar with your own personal waiter for the night.

11. Spend a night in an intimate hotel and enjoy a bottle of the Veneto’s finest in the evening under Juliet’s balcony, just you, your partner and the stillness of the courtyard.

12. Try something a little different and stay in a “unique” art hotel in Sicily where reality and fantasy seem to coexist in every room.  For all you lovers we suggest  La Torre di Sigismondo, an art room created by the movie director Raoul Ruiz.  With a huge round bed which revolves and occupies the entire space of the tower. Guests have the opportunity of opening up the roof revealing the starry sky.

13. A night at the opera?  A Concert?  With so much choice you are actually spoilt for choice. From La Fenice in Venice to la Scala in Milan… Check out Andrea Boccelli who will be playing on the 30th July 2016, Or Muse who are back in Italy this year. Book your tickets for the Adele concert and she is playing at the Arena in Verona in May and add Justin Bieber, The Cure, Zucchero and Rihanna to the list … well you really do need to get it sorted!

14. Stay in a candle-lit cave in the heart of Matera. We have some other really unique hospitality for you in Abruzzo… if you want to be unique, then this is it.

15. Hire a Vespa in Rome and discover the hidden treasures which await. Become Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn for the day.

16. A balloon trip for 2 over Tuscany or a helicopter tour over Venice.

17. Book a trio to come to your apartment in Rome and enjoy a private concert or why not a classical guitarist or violinist, we can even go as far as a mandolin and guitar!

18. Forget the selfie and organise a paparazzi Photo shoot. At the moment only possible in Rome.

19. Take a trip to Italy on the Orient Express. A true Art Deco icon, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is one of the world’s most famous luxury trains. Step aboard and experience truly elegant travel, wrapped in timeless romance.  If your budget does not allow you this extravagance, why not take the train to Italy and book a compartment just for the 2 of you and bring Bond to life.

20. For our last idea, we leave this totally open to you. Perhaps after all this romance you need a bit of a rest!

Thank you to ENIT for allowing us to use their images…..

It is nearly time for romance and what a way to get St Valentines off to good start.  We truly recommend a trip to this amazing city, it is simply beautiful.  Here are some suggestions from David Gearing who travelled to Verona last year. Why not….

  • Take a walk in Verona as there are some great places to visit…Piazza delle Erbe, the arena where the opera festival takes place, the historical centre with all its shops and sometimes open air markets. You can also check out Romeo’s house and Juliet’s balcony!
  • Check out Corso Porta Borsari  – Here you will find plenty of pricey boutiques and in Via Mazzini you will find the brands like Versace, Gucci and Benetton.  Try to find Alkimia, which stocks high-end designer clothing for men and women and Macondo, which offers labels from Italy and abroad.  There is also Profumeria Carlotta which offers boutique fragrances from around the world, all housed in a quaint, old-fashioned drug-store (Via Portici, 5).  Corso Porta Borsari becomes Corso Sant’Anastasia after Piazza dell’Erbe. It continues to provide great shopping options, such as a quirky cooking/tableware store, and a shop that sells high-end cutlery and pocket knives. There are also some expensive antique and art shops that merit window shopping. Similarly, those looking to pick up a vinous souvenir should pay a visit toEnoteca Oreste dal Zovo (7 Vicolo Saint Marco in Foro 7 – off Corso Porta Borsari, +39 045 803 4369) where the best of Italian, French and Spanish wine is stacked floor to ceiling over two enormous rooms. Sample a range of local wines by the glass, and should you wish to reserve your excess luggage for shoes or antiques, Enoteca Oreste dal Zovo will happily ship your purchases for a fee.
  • Many gourmet shops sell wine, pastas and canned goods from the Valpollicella wine region and other local food producers. These shops are a delight to browse through and are great places to pick up edible gifts and souvenirs. Also be sure to stop in either of the two pasticcerie along the right side of the street as you meander towards Piazza dell’Erbe. There you can buy Panettone, the golden Christmas cake of Verona and other tempting baked goods. You should pick up a variety of the mouthwatering cookies available for purchase by the etto (100 grams), including the famous baci di Romeo and baci di Guilietta (Romeo’s and Juiliet’s kisses.
  • Have un aperitivo in Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza Bra or on the bank of the river Adige. This is where the nightlife starts…and where Piazza dei Signori is located.  Take a late night walk and feel the romance.
  • Try some polenta when in Verona or “paparele”, home made pasta with peas and beans. Verona is also known for its production of DOC wines, then taste the Bardolino or the Valpolicella. For the sweet tooth amongst you, we suggest the famous “pandoro” and the “nadalin”, a Christmas cakes with a star shape.
  • I know this is not that romantic but there is the famous cemetery here and you must check out il cimitero monumentale – The monumental cemetery was designed in 1828 by Giuseppe Barbieri in Neo-Doric style. It is square in shape, and divided by two paths which split it into four sections. The sculptures which adorn the entrance are inspired by those designed by Antonio Canova for the tomb of Pope Clement XIII. Inside, there are various examples of funereal art: the Dolci tomb (XCIX, by Ettore Ferrari), the Bertani tomb (XCVIII, by Spazzi), the Monga tomb (by Giovanni Dupre), the Tosadori tomb (XLIX, by Egidio Girelli), the Lugo monument (CXXXV, by Ettore Ferrari) and the enclosure containing the remains of those who perished in the War (by Pietro Del Fabro). Most of the tombs in the cemetery have been numbered with Roman numerals in order to make them easier to locate. Piazzale del Cimitero, 1, Verona, 37133.
  • Try out Pizzeria Bella Napoli – Simply the best pizza in Verona! In Via G Marconi 11 Tel: 0039 045 8069182.  However if you fancy some good wine and great food… Bottega del Vino is a great choice. The food is classic and a dish to try is Risotto all’Amarone made with great Amarone Red wine from the area. In Via Scudo di Francia 3 – 37121 Verona
  • Try out this restaurant which comes highly recommended – Osteria La Fontanina – Portichetti Fontanelle 3 – S. Stefano Verona (Vicinanze Ponte Pietra) Tel./Fax 0039 045 913305. Out of this world she says!!!!
  • Join the locals and head to Antica Bottega del Vino, a rustic, wood-panelled wine bar with an extensive selection of wines by the glass and a decent menu.
  • There will be no opera when you are here but a trip to the Arena may be an idea where you get to truly savour the grandeur of this magnificent building. Or get involved in some wine tasting or a menu tasting of Verona’s best products or an Italian cooking class, what about rafting on the River Adige or even a vespa or bike tour.

 

 

Has Signor gearing got you going yet?  We have some truly sexy hotels available here. Want to find out more why not call us on 01424728900.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would like to thank ENIT for the use of their pictures.

We all know that Italy is just beautiful but this year we have decided to focus on certain areas/places which still remain undiscovered when it comes to getting married there. Everyone has their favourite and sometimes finding the right venue may be your only choice as some of the locations may not have what you are looking for, as there are many things to consider. However this year we would like to shout out and recommend these wonderful places….

  1. Bologna– Just beautiful and really comes highly recommended for the foodies amongst you. This is foodie heaven but it is also magnificent with its porticoes, music, monuments…did you know that it has been qualified by UNESCO as the best preserved city in the world? What a great way to start your married life together and entertain your guests as there is just so much that you can do here.
  2. Naples– what can I say, yes it is my favourite city and yes you have a range of wonderful places to tie the knot. From villas on the sea to grand palazzi, panoramic hotel with views over Vesuvius to boats where you can hold your special day. Naples is all about the people and we love it.
  3. We simply adore the towns and villages which cover the region of Lazio which still remains untouched and unknown. Why?  Discover places like Gaeta and Tuscania, Sperlonga and Norma, Civita di Bagnoregio and Casperia to name but a few.
  4. Perugia–  This town is all about the drama of the buildings. Everything is just so majestic and where the weddings can take place is simply mind-blowing. Perugia provides the atmosphere and you will definately not be disappointed.
  5. Maratea –  What pictures would you have if you had your wedding here? Getting married here is all about the true essence of all that which is magical and truly spiritual.
  6. Siracusa– Especially if we head out to Ortigia. Here we have it all, the sea, the architecture which is dilapidated beauty, great food, the heat which is Sicily and soooo much more.
  7. The Islands in Campania. From Capri to Ischia to Procida …. some of them everyone knows about, others still remain unknown but yet amongst the Italians are just so popular. What a start to your Italian wedding…. and what great things await you.
Courtesy of ENIT

Courtesy of ENIT – Faraglioni di Capri

8. Pienza– I did not want to mention Tuscany, not because I do not love Tuscany because I adore everything which is Tuscan, but because I want to share new places with you. Pienza is just so cute and there are so many things which make it simply perfect for your Italian wedding

9. Palermo– You cannot love Naples and not love Palermo.  This city is all about grandeur, some call it faded, I call it classic!

10. Le Cinque Terre– You as the reader are getting true value for money only because this is number 10 but you are actually getting 5 for the price of 1.  I only have 1 word for this… BREATHTAKING.

Want to find out more? Check out this web site www.weddingsmadeinitaly.co.uk

Are these places Italy’s best kept secret?

We start off with: Bussana Vecchia – in 1887 an earthquake destroyed Bussana, a small medieval village in northern Italy, near San Remo. It was then taken over in the early 60s by a community of artists who still work and live here. This is a magical place to visit.

Procida, untamed, untouristy and truly beautiful.

Castello di Sammezzano – Hidden in Reggello in the province of Florence. Surrounded by a spectacular garden the castle is semi abandoned. To find out more click here.

Sant’Agata dei Goti in Benevento – Amazingly positioned and just waiting to be discovered.

Curon Venosta – Lago di Resia. What you see from the waters is the campanile belonging to the church of the ancient Village of Curon which no longer exists and is beneath the artificial lake. Picture-perfect.

Civita di Bagnoregia – Known as the city that is dying because of what it is built on, tufa. The village is inhabited by about 15 persons and you can only access it via a bridge which is pedestrianised.

The Lakes of Marinello in Tindari – There is a white/golden beach here crossed by salt water lakes which change shape with the wind. Check out Alfonso’s Filming

The Island of Favignana – With a wonderful sea and framed by nature. With isolated coves and bays. Picture courtesy of the Italian State Tourist Board

 Favignana

The village of Cascade del Mulino – just take advantage of the hot springs while taking in the surrounding countryside and you will feel that you are in paradise. It is 37 degrees centigrade constantly.

The Ghost Town of Craco in the region of Basilicata. Because this place is so utterly unique with a landscape which is particular to the region, Craco has been the set of many movies from King David to Saving Grace, Nativity to the Quantum of Solace. In the film the Passion of Christ, this is where the hanging of Judas was filmed.

The submerged village of Vagli (sotto) in Tuscany.  Click here  for more details.

Definitely Romagnano al Monte in the province of Salerno. A truly magical place and also a little eerie to be honest.

Want to find out more or do you want more Italian delights to discover?

Lecce -Santa Croce

Lecce -Santa Croce courtesy of ENIT

Here are just a few reasons why you should visit Lecce.

  1. Take a walk in celebration of the baroque and all you need to do is to start off in Via libertine and then onto Piazza del Duomo which is where the baroque culminates in all its true magnificence.
  2. Go to Piazza Sant’Oronzo and Caffe Alvino for breakfast and when in Lecce you must try Lecce’s speciality caffè in ghiaccio con latte di mandorla (espresso with ice and almond milk) and whilst so doing, do not forget to admire your surroundings!
  3. For some simple mind blowing… try the Basilica di Santa Croce – the detail!
  4. Check out Doppiozero, a restaurant come delicatessen come restaurant. An interesting place to have lunch.
  5. Take note that everything shuts from 1400-1700 so this may be a good time to walk round the city if you are not too hot or just take a siesta!
  6. If you like shopping or even window shopping Corso Vittorio Emanuele is a good place for it.
  7. Do you like watching skilled craftsmen? Check them out working on the Pietra Leccese along Via Palmieri, in the old town. Beautiful statues, jewellery, lamps and other objects skilfully crafted out of this malleable material.
  8. Do not forget your evening passeggiata and I would actually dress up a little for the occasion especially if it is the weekend.
  9. In July and August it is the Locomotive Jazz Festival: late July/early August.
  10. Take a day trip to the town of Galatina or nearby Oria, Manduria and even Gallipoli which I just adore.
  11. Take some time out and head to a beach and get some rays!
  12. Head to Via Guglielmo Paladini, it is just full of bars.  Check out the stone-vaulted Caffè Letterario and sip some beer and watch some comedy. Or check out the Cagliostro cocktail lounge and have a few cocktails before heading out for dinner.
  13. There is Natale on the Via Trinchese which has pilgrims from all over the world coming here as it is the main gelateria and they have it all, ranging from the standard and pretty conventional gelato to the completely whacky!
  14. Give Pasticciotto a try – yummy!
  15. Try the Primitivo wine (similar to Zinfandel) and Negroamaro, a red wine grape variety grown almost exclusively in Apulia.

 

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